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Old 01-08-2019, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Name: Stephen
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Default Separation Anxiety - can't fix

I have a puppy Stella who is know 10 months old.. well not longer a puppy i guess but I am having trouble crate training her or just leaving her alone. I live in a small apartment so I can't have her "cry it out" all night, so I have been trying to get her to comfortable with the crate and when we leave for work, she is locked in the bathroom. We got a puppy cam to watch her and for an hour she howls but calms down and sleeps in a bed. I even put the bed in the crate and she lays in it, so she is not scared of it.

When I come home and play with her, I try to do crate training. The second I put her in she freaks out, howling, digging, whining, and biting the crate, all the signs of severe separation anxiety. She even hurt herself trying to get out biting the crate door. I have read about slowing getting them use to it, but I can't even get the door closed before she freaks out.

She is pooping at night when we are asleep so we can't catch her and having her in the crate at night would be best, but we can't have her bark and whine all night. I tried to tie her to my arm at night so I can know when she jumps down.. but she got too far out and was dangling off the side, just hanging in the air on the lease.. so we can't do this anymore.

Should we not hold her and push her more away to make her more independent. When I walk to the bathroom she follows me, when I walk to the bedroom she follows, she never leaves my side. I want her to feel safe and comfortable being alone and not by my me every second.

Any Ideas?
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wish I could help you. I was never able to do crate training with Luna and she has always sleep in the same bedroom than me. She did learn not to poop while we are sleeping, but that is because of her food schedule. As far as leaving her alone, instead of in a bathroom, we used baby gates in a small hall. But after she learned to pee in her pee-pee thing and stopped chewing shoes, we just leave her freely in the house.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just wondering whether or not you began Crate Training when you first got Stella?? At 10 months of age, she should be already. Crate training is consistent on behalf of the owner meaning that when she was a small Puppy, she was taken out to do her thing and then put her in her Crate. Of course she would have to play and eat, but it is important that a routine is established. Not sure when you take her out for the last time before she goes to bed, but perhaps she might have to go out a bit later. Dogs usually do not mess/dirty their crates. Perhaps your Vet might be able to help you out with some suggestions. And I am sure that there will be more of SM Members who will want to offer you some advice.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We tried gates, but she jumps against them and knocks them down trying to escape and get to us, which is why we had to use a door. We could try it again soon as she seems to of calmed down more since being a smaller puppy.

I met my girlfriend who had the puppy at 5-6 months and she did not do any training!.. I have been training Stella since I met her.. she thinks they are cute babies who need to be snuggled with.. which might be my problem.

We usually take her out at 9-10 ish and she sleeps on our bed, but at night she jumps down and goes in the curtains of all places and then comes back into bed, so she is leaving the area where we sleep. If I could crate her at night and keep her quite I would but she does not stop or calm down at all and we don't want her to hurt herself again when put in a crate.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When you put her in the crate try giving her a kong filled with something yummy and then she will associate going in the crate with good things happening. At night you could try covering 3 sides of the crate to make it feel more like a den. Cover it with something that has your scent on it and then she won't feel like she's alone.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do not have any personal experience with this but perhaps a soft sided carrier with pop out sides like this one pictured below for her to sleep in your bed with you during the night to at least get her through the nights to start?!?! I would definitely not try to tie her to you or anything with her leash for sure.

When I brought Aviannah home at 12 weeks old I started her in one similar to this the first night. I slipped my hand in one of the zippers with her to comfort her and she was out within minutes with no fuss and I was able to slip my hand back out easily without waking her. I think this breed can be taught fairly easily because they want to please us so much but it takes consistency, time and patience! The good people here at SM taught/reminded me of that my first year here at SM which was also my first year Aviannah! Oh and always reward her when she does what you are trying to teach her too!
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My oldest dog developed terrible separation anxiety about the same age. She would chew her self bloody. I brought in a trainer who advised me to put her in the crate, leave for 1 min and return. Everyday, increase the time by 1 min and in 30 days(30 min) she would trust I would return and have enough confidence in herself to know if left alone, she will be fine.
Also, when I did return, I was to make no eye contact, no comment until she sat quiet in her crate and then I would take her out and treat.
Everyday thereafter, I would increase by an hour. I did hire in a dog walker to come in 3 1/2-4 hours after I left in the morning, on the days I worked, which helps break up the day.
It took time but it does help them develop the confidence they need to be left alone.
After a few months I put her in a pen until I was 100% positive she could be trusted to have free reign of my house.
Here is the pen I used then and still use when she slips and starts to have accidents in the house. A few weeks in this reinforces that she is to go potty outside only.
https://www.amazon.com/IRIS-4-Panel-...08458603&psc=1
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The soft sided crate sounds like a neat idea but I see this puppy jumping up and rolling it over and over like a hamster wheel, I have thought of using these to train her in as I don't see how she could hurt herself like she did before but she would hamster ball that thing all over the room.

Maddy, I will try some of that crate training you mentioned, I just have the problem that she goes crazy the second I put her in before the door gets closed. Maybe I need to get her calm before closing the door that I think about it. For that pen, do you have any issues with it falling over from then jumping against it or jumping up and leaning against it? Also how long would you leave her in there?

Thanks for all the info, these are my first Maltese dogs and having all the responsibility to take care of them, so I am learning all about them.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Have you tried one of those indoor potty systems? I have one in my bedroom for Luna to use during the day. Luna now sleeps all night, but when she was younger, she would jump out of the bed, pee in there, and come back...
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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We used puppy pads but now we are taking those up and getting her to go outside. She is really good except for at night when we can't watch her every second. I don't know of a indoor potty system, may have to google that if you dont mean puppy pads.
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